479-750-6632
901 Jones Road | Springdale, AR 72762
1201 NE Legacy Parkway | Bentonville, AR 72712
Referrals: 479-872-3377

Hospice Social Workers

March 7, 2017

March is National Social Workers month and we figured one of the best ways to celebrate is to share an article about the Social Worker role in hospice. Hospice provides quality, dignified and compassionate care for a person and their loved ones during a person’s final days of living. A Social Worker’s professional values and skills are a perfect match with hospice, which is designed to treat the whole person in an interdisciplinary manner to enhance quality of life during challenging times.

When a hospice social worker visits an individual and his or her loved ones, she or he begins by completing a comprehensive assessment. The individualized assessment assists the social worker in understanding the needs, strengths and goals of the patient and family, as they cope with the effects of progressive illness, dying and death. Social Workers are able to build trust and a relationship with the patient and family, during a time of crisis and vulnerability. With this understanding and trust established, the social worker can best help the family manage this difficult experience.

Hospice social workers help meet a family’s basic needs by educating and advocating for the patient and family. The hospice social worker is a certified medical social worker (MSW) who has had specialized training in end-of-life care. Social Worker roles may include counseling and support to deal with loss, grief and bereavement before the death; helping patients and families deal with stress and conflicts; addressing ethical dilemmas; and providing visits and collaboration with hospice team members. They are concerned with enhancing quality of life and promoting well-being for patients, families, and caregivers.

In the hospice setting, the social worker may help with any number of the following:

o    Advance Care Planning. Assistance with advance care planning to ensure that all treatments meet the wishes of the people receiving care is also within the plan of social work intervention. Advance care planning entails making decisions about treatment in end of life care and funeral planning, and communicating this with loved ones and in legal documentation.

o    Ethical Dilemmas. Ethical dilemmas (such as withdrawing or withholding treatment) may also arise, and social workers are adept at problem solving, advocacy and facilitating the proper resources to find solutions that are helpful for each family.

o    Financial Stress. Financial concerns are often an issue at the end of life, and this is another area where social workers are extremely knowledgeable and successful at helping people navigate resources such as health insurance coverage, medical costs, and bills, or accessing disability income.

Typically, one social worker is assigned to a patient to provide continuity of care. The social worker will build a relationship with the hospice patient and their support system and assist in areas of need they identify together.

 

Contact Information

901 Jones Road
Springdale, AR 72762

1201 NE Legacy Parkway
Bentonville, AR 72712

479-750-6632

info@nwacircleoflife.org

Words of Thanks

  • Thank you so much for caring for our wonderful friends and families. Keep up the great work. We appreciate you so very much.
  • I just wanted to thank you so much for your help and kindness during my father's last days. You and your staff made a difficult situation so much easier for all involved. My family and I deeply appreciate all that you did for us.
  • Many thanks for the good care you gave our loved one.
  • Thank you for all the love, care and support you provided us. We are so grateful for our great opportunity to reconnect with mom and make lasting memories. You helped make mom's time with us better as she prepared you for her heavenly home.
  • The staff at Circle of Life will never know how much we appreciated the care given to our parents. Each of you is unique in your own ways.
  • Thank you for your wonderful care. Circle of Life is a wonderful place and we appreciate you all so much. Thank you for your kind and gentle care of our family member.
  • My family was so pleased with how you took such good care of my wife in her final days.
  • Thank you so much for the love and care of our loved one. Your kindness will live on in our hearts forever.
  • Your care of mom was such a blessing - at our home and at the hospice home. Such kindness and genuine love for those who are dying. You all provide such a valuable service. May God bless you in return.
  • Thank you so much for the excellent care of our loved one at this most difficult time of life.
  • Thank you so very much for the care and compassion you showed mom. She loved you all and you made her last year much better.
  • Many thanks to all of you for the wonderful thoughtfulness, care and kindness for our friend and his family in his final days.